Allan Johnston selected the same team that started last week's game against Morton, with Jason Talbot having recovered from the head injury that caused him to be substituted during the game. The subs bench had one change, with Fraser Aird in for Jean Yves M'Voto.
2' Gavin Reilly had a chance to put Saints ahead but pulled his shot wide
17' Joe Cardle suffered an injury that led to his withdrawal, with David Hopkirk on in his place
20' GOAL! Declan McManus took Kallum Higginbotham's pass and shot confidently past Craig Samson. Pars 1, St Mirren 0
25' Higginbotham's excellent pass put Hopkirk clean through but the Pars sub shot wide
44' GOAL! Seconds before half time, Ryan Williamson's cross found Hopkirk, who fired a great shot high into the top corner. Pars 2, St Mirren 0
56' GOAL! Higginbotham's corner reached Callum Morris who turned the ball in. Pars 3, St Mirren 0
87' Adam Eckersley grabbed Pars sub Aaron Spaine by the throat in a totally unprovoked moment of madness, and was red carded
88' Ex Par Gregor Buchanan received his second yellow card of the game and was sent off
A performance worthy of title winners - this was Dunfermline at their very best, bossing the game from start to finish, and avoiding the recent pattern of a good start followed by a drop in performance levels. Eager to bounce back from last week's defeat at Morton, the same starting 11 overcame the early loss of talisman Joe Cardle, and with players including Kallum Higginbotham and Declan McManus in top form, looked a much better team than their opponents who went into today's game in top spot.
There was an early scare when dud striker Gavin Reilly had a half chance for Saints that he naturally fluffed. From there on it was all about Dunfermline. McManus took his goal with the confidence of a player on form, while the second goal from sub David Hopkirk was a superbly placed shot into the top corner.
There was no let up in the second half, with St Mirren reduced to ineffective breakaways. Dean Shiels was unlucky not to get his first Pars goal when his shot was blocked by Samson. Higginbotham then provided another goal assist for captain Morris to score and put the game out of reach of the visitors. The Pars continued to press and only good defending prevented the scoreline from increasing.
With 3 minutes remaining, St Mirren lost composure - firstly when Adam Eckersley grabbed Aaron Splaine by the throat, and then Gregor Buchanan joining his team mate, sent off for a second bookable offence.
This was not "Pars beat 9 man St Mirren" - the game was won long before the red cards. This should give the team huge confidence going forward. An excellent display.
Tomorrow: match photo gallery & vlog will be posted
All photos & edits by Pars Review
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